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8 in 10 Koreans vow to stay at home during Chuseok: poll

Nearly eight out of 10 South Koreans have no plans to visit their hometowns or travel during the upcoming Chuseok holiday amid the widespread COVID-19 fears, a poll showed Friday.

In the survey of 1,001 adults nationwide conducted by Gallup Korea from Tuesday to Thursday, 77 percent said they do not have any plans to leave their homes for more than one night during the Chuseok holiday, the autumn harvest celebration. This year's Chuseok runs from Sept. 20-22, and it will be extended by an extra two days due to a preceding weekend.

According to Gallup Korea, only 19 percent of the survey's participants revealed plans to visit their hometowns for longer than one night during this year's Chuseok. Merely 2 percent said they plan to travel for more than one day.

Traditionally, Koreans head back to their hometowns to be with their family members and visit their ancestors' graves to commemorate them. But health authorities are advising against hometown visits or travel during the extra-long holiday, fearing that gatherings of people at homes and tourist spots would further heighten the chances of COVID-19 transmissions.

"In the previous polls conducted over the past 30 years since 1989, more than 30 percent of Koreans spoke of plans to visit their hometowns for longer than one night. The ratio fell to an all-time low of 16 percent last year before rebounding slightly to 19 percent this year," a Gallup Korea official said. (Yonhap)